As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states -- including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida -- and winning by a million and a half votes nationally. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush's neck in supposed GOP strongholds Virginia and North Carolina. Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000. ''Either the exit polls, by and large, are completely wrong,'' a Fox News analyst declared, ''or George Bush loses.''
But as the evening progressed, official tallies began to show implausible disparities -- as much as 9.5 percent -- with the exit polls. In ten of the eleven battleground states, the tallied margins departed from what the polls had predicted. In every case, the shift favored Bush. Based on exit polls, CNN had predicted Kerry defeating Bush in Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percentage points. Instead, election results showed Bush winning the state by 2.5 percent. Bush also tallied 6.5 percent more than the polls had predicted in Pennsylvania, and 4.9 percent more in Florida.
Click the heading for the whole story by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
What about the 2000 election?
I recently saw an HBO movie called Recount, about the 2000 battle for a recount in Florida. You would expect this film to be somewhat dry, but I promise it is quite gripping. While much of the dialogue may be fiction, the plot is basically accurate, yet has more twists than anyone would expect from a true story. I had no idea the election was so close, or that many recounts were halted while in progress. All thumbs up!
P.S. Isn't there something wrong with the fact that votes in swing states like Florida are much more valuable than those in non-swing states? Shouldn't all votes count equally? If you think they should, support an end to winner-take-all elections, or better yet, an end to the electoral college.
Another interesting thing.